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How to Cook Delicious Candy Yams: A Step-by-Step Guide

by admin

There’s something truly comforting about the aroma and taste of sweet and candied yams. As a classic side dish, they make an appearance on many holiday tables and are a delightful treat any time of the year. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice cook, mastering the art of cooking candy yams is a great way to impress your family and friends. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of preparing these delectable sweet potatoes.

Step 1: Gathering Ingredients

To cook candy yams, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Step 2: Preparing the Sweet Potatoes

Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Then, thoroughly wash the sweet potatoes under running water to remove any dirt or impurities. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

Next, peel the sweet potatoes using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife. Try to remove only a thin layer of skin, as the sweet potatoes’ vibrant color lies just beneath the skin. Once peeled, cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch thick rounds or, alternatively, into chunks or cubes, depending on your preference.

Step 3: Preparing the Candied Sauce

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir the mixture consistently until the brown sugar is fully dissolved and the ingredients are well combined. This will create a rich, caramel-like sauce that will coat the sweet potatoes.

Step 4: Coating the Sweet Potatoes

Take a baking dish or casserole dish, preferably one that’s deep enough to hold all of the sweet potato pieces. Grease the dish lightly with some butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Now, carefully place the sweet potato rounds, chunks, or cubes into the greased baking dish, making sure they are arranged in an even layer. Pour the prepared candied sauce over the sweet potatoes, ensuring that every piece is coated evenly. You can also sprinkle some chopped pecans over the top for added flavor and crunch, if desired.

Step 5: Baking and Finishing Touches

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, creating a sealed and oven-safe environment for the sweet potatoes to cook in. Place the dish in the preheated oven and let it bake for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

After the initial baking time, remove the foil and carefully baste the sweet potatoes with the sauce that has accumulated at the bottom of the dish. This will ensure that the yams are evenly coated and caramelized. Return the dish to the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the edges of the sweet potatoes have turned slightly golden.

Step 6: Serving and Enjoying

Once the candy yams are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. The sauce will thicken further as it cools, resulting in a sticky and sweet glaze.

Serve the candy yams warm, either as a side dish alongside your favorite main course or as a standalone delight. The wonderful combination of the soft and sweet yams with the rich and flavorful sauce will undoubtedly be a hit. Don’t forget to sprinkle some additional pecans over the top for added texture and presentation, if desired.

Final Thoughts

Cooking candy yams is a straightforward process that yields incredibly delicious results. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to create a delightful side dish that will leave everyone asking for seconds. With their heavenly aroma and sweet, sticky glaze, these candied yams are sure to become a recurring favorite at your family gatherings and holiday feasts.

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